Stories about Georgia State Soaring Records

Read the Stories see below and at the Georgia Soaring Hall of Fame,
then plan your own Record & Badge Tasks to be flown at SES.

Click to enlarge

Hail damage on Minimoa.

500K+ Flights Originating in Georgia
data compiled by David Stevenson Dec 2006

Date Pilot Distance miles km Task Route Duration Sailplane
05/16/72 E.T. "Woody"
319.0 513.4 Straight Distance Monroe / Citra, FL 07:50 Std Libelle
06/18/84 Derek Johnson 313.5 504.5 Triangle Williamson / Dublin / Elberton 07:40 Nimbus 2C
04/07/85 Peter Johnson 311.8 501.8 Straight Distance Williamson / Pinehurst, NC 04:40 Grob 102
05/26/85 David Stevenson 322.1 518.4 Triangle Williamson / Cordele Int. / Tallassee, AL 05:26 DG-400
05/26/85 Bobby Bridges 318.0 511.8 Triangle Williamson / Cordele / Tallassee, AL 06:06 LS-4A
05/26/85 Jim Hogue 318.0 511.8 Triangle Williamson / Cordele / Tallassee, AL 06:36 ASW-20
05/26/85 Charlie Meason 318.0 511.8 Triangle Williamson / Cordele / Tallassee, AL 07:12 ASW-19
05/26/85 Pam Crane 313.0 503.7 Incomplete Triangle Williamson / Cordele / Tallassee, AL 07:44 ASW-19
05/27/85 David Stevenson 317.7 511.3 Goal & Return Williamson / Cairo 05:24 DG-400
05/27/85 Clyde Taylor 318.0 511.8 Triangle Williamson / Cordele / Tallassee, AL 06:47 LS-4A
06/22/85 David Stevenson 318.0 511.8 Goal & Return Monroe / Chester, SC 06:50 DG-400
03/30/86 David Stevenson 318.0 511.8 Triangle Kennesaw / Knoxville, TN / Jackson Co., NC 05:00 DG-400
03/31/86 Jim Culp 317.0 510.2 Goal & Return Cherokee Co. / Greeneville, TN 06:32 DG-400
04/??/88 Bobby Bridges 550 ? 885? 3 Turnpoint Distance NW GA/Crossville,TN/Ft. Payne,AL/Crossville,TN/Newnan ? ASW-22
05/21/88 David Stevenson 412.0 663.0 Goal Monroe / Winterhaven, FL 07:10 DG-400
05/31/89 Charles Dewald 318.5 512.6 3 Turnpoint Distance Tifton / Alma / Bainbridge / Cordele / Tifton 07:56 LS-3
06/24/90 David Stevenson 311.6 501.5 Triangle Monroe / Swainsboro / Butler 04:56 DG-400
05/21/95 John Bojack 311.6 501.5 Triangle Monroe / Swainsboro / Butler 06:12 LS-6C
05/28/95 John Bojack 327.0 526.3 3 Turnpoint Distance Cordele / Valdosta / Perry / Tifton / Cordele 07:17 LS-6C
05/26/96 John Bojack 338.6 544.9 Triangle Cordele / Jennings City,FL / Ashford City, AL 07:30 LS-6C
05/26/02 Francois Pin 324.5 522.2 Triangle Cordele / Alma / Thomasville / Buena Vista 04:45 ASW-27
05/26/02 Fernando Silva 320.5 515.8 Incomplete Triangle Cordele / Alma / Thomasville / Buena Vista 05:13 ASW-27
10/16/04 David Stevenson 327.5 527.1 3 Turnpoint Distance NW GA/Crossville,TN/Ft. Payne,AL/Near Hinch/Nickajack 05:26 Ka-6E
04/24/05 David Stevenson 561.0 902.8 3 Turnpoint Distance NW GA/Crossville/Collinsville,AL/Dunlap,TN/Hampton, SC 09:30 Silent 2
05/24/06 Scott Anderson 319.0 513.3 3 Turnpoint Distance Cordele/Adel/Perry/Moultrie/Cordele 06:11 Ventus B
05/26/07 Joe Flores 336.9 542.2 3 Turnpoint Distance Cordele/Jordans/Butler/"Joe"/Cordele. "Joe" is ~25sm E of Dublin 7:38 Open Cirrus
05/27/07 Wally Berry 310.96 500.4 3 Turnpoint Distance Cordele/Soperton/Americus/Dublin/Cordele [GTA Race] .igc 6:08 Libelle 301
05/27/07 Fernando Silva 310.96 500.4 3 Turnpoint Distance Cordele/Soperton/Americus/Dublin/Cordele [GTA Race] .igc 5:44 ASW-27
05/27/07 Mitch Deutsch 310.96 500.4 3 Turnpoint Distance Cordele/Soperton/Americus/Dublin/Cordele [GTA Race] .igc 5:45 ASW-27
05/27/07 Mika Ganszauge 310.96 500.4 3 Turnpoint Distance Cordele/Soperton/Americus/Dublin/Cordele [GTA Race] .igc 6:09 LS-4
05/27/07 Larry Goddard 310.96 500.4 3 Turnpoint Distance Cordele/Soperton/Americus/Dublin/Cordele [GTA Race] .igc 6:09 LS-3
Many of these flights had a start time close to 11:00am - often it takes an early start.

May 27 2007 500k GTA flights, Cordele/Soperton/Americus/Dublin/Cordele, and May 27 2007.igc files



I was browsing the Georgia state records and the 19,434' absolute altitude set in 1943
in an open single really stood out. I was wondering if you knew any more about that 
Steve Mason 
Yes, I have heard the lore behind this feat. This man took a wooden and fabric 
glider [Minimoa] into a thunderstorm over a little airport south of Atlanta. This 
airport is now known as Hartsfield International, the busiest airport in the world and
a similar attempt could cost you your license and possibly more. For the foreseeable
future the FAA will continue to prohibit cloud flying for gliders, so I expect
this record to outlive this generation of pilots since a record cannot be approved
that breaks the regulations. Bravery (and maybe a slice of stupidity) 57 years
ago looks like it will stand for many years to come, and that is part of the
charm of records [actually a lot of easy ones remain unclaimed or unbeaten too]
Barring some extraordinary wave conditions, which are rare in this state, this    
is the only record that looks "unbeatable". 
Chris Ruf 
Georgia State record keeper
<< Bravery (and maybe a slice of stupidity)57 years ago 
J. Shelly Charles was Eastern Pilot. That explains a lot. 
Bob Gaines GA 
[retired Delta pilot]


For a now beaten Junior free straight distance record, Miller Wilder flew from Cordele 
to Tifton, as the outlanding field he chose looked unsuitable on final he moved over and landed on a 4 lane city street, flying under a green light! Came to a stop in a bank parking lot. [Do not try to out do this!] *3 It's my pleasure to announce a Georgia State Record for the Sports Class of 398.45 h-miles flown by Dave Stevenson in his Ka-6e from Sequatchie Soaring, using a remote start within the NW corner of Georgia
(thus qualifying as a Georgia originating flight), and flown as a
Free 3-turnpoint Distance flight along the ridges from Hinch Mountain Tn, South into Alabama, and finishing back at Sequatchie Soaring. Actual miles were 326.6, with a handicap of 1.22 Date flown, Oct 16, 2004 ICG file 4agc0hu1.igc John Bojack "J4" Ga record-keeper *4 Ray Cornay has just set a new GA state soaring record as follows: Standard Class, 100k speed Flown on May 7,2005 in an LS-4 56.7mph LaGrange/Roosevelt/Luthersville/LaGrange This breaks an old record held by Bobby Bridges.... also flown in
the month of May,1985....also in an LS-4! Congratulations Ray! John Bojack Ga State Recordkeeper *5
New Glider World Record Claimed in Georgia

David Stevenson of Atlanta, GA, flew more than 560 miles in a Silent 2 ultralight sailplane (285 lb empty weight) on April 24, 2005. He launched at 9:04 a.m. from Marion County airport in Jasper, TN, and was towed by John Bloomfield of Chilhowee Gliderport to his release point in the northwest corner of his home state of Georgia.

After several tricky low saves in the weak early morning lift, he was able to connect with the Sequatchie Ridge. Utilizing the strong northwest winds to surf the mountain ridges at more than 90 mph, Stevenson proceeded to his first turnpoint at the northern edge of the Sequatchie Valley near Crossville, TN. He next headed south towards his second turnpoint just north of Gadsden, Al. He then turned north again to Dunlap, TN, in the heart of Sequatchie Valley. On the way back up the ridge, he experienced a flight computer shutdown due to a faulty electrical connection, but the onboard flight recorder fortunately continued to log the flight.

Using his back-up sectional charts for navigation, Stevenson left the ridges and plateau behind and transitioned to thermal soaring in the Tennessee River valley. Utilizing the 20-knot tailwind, he headed southeast on a line for Charleston, SC. At Cleveland, TN, he experience another low save with a weak thermal after already picking out a field for landing. As he progressed, into the higher and drier terrain of the southern Appalachians the cloudbases rose to over 6000', with the exception of another weak airmass around Athens, GA. From then on the conditions were good as he continued toward his goal.

As he neared the Atlantic coast, the lateness of the day's heating cycle was working against him. With the next airport 25 miles away, Stevenson made a safety decision to give up 3,000 feet of altitude and cut short the elusive 1000K (628 miles) goal. He landed at Hampton, SC at 6:41 PM after flying 9 hours. Fellow pilot Murray Forbes of Atlanta assisted him in his venture as ground crew and Official Observer.

Preliminary statistics are: 59 mph average cross-country speed, 61 glides with 85 mph average glide speed and 28 percent thermalling time with an average of 370 ft/min climb resulting in a 49.7 L/D. Stevenson is submitting his flight to the NAA and FAI for record approval as a declared 3-turnpoint distance in the Ultralight Sailplane category. A several -time national champion, Stevenson will be representing the U.S. in the 2006 World Club Class Championships in Vinon, France.

Autopilot Article.pdf
Leo B-L  ICG file 54occ0h2.igc

*6 David Stevenson 58.1hmph Ka-6e: 5/26/2005 flown in Cordele flight trace 55QCC0H1.IGC
*7 Trace Bojack_330k_10-28-05.igc Late Autumn Flight - John Bojack

Extra-memorable for me, this flight was one of the latest in the season, flatland thermal cross-country flights I'd ever done. It also followed a rather lackluster summer soaring season that was typified by hazy, weak lift and weather that made just staying aloft a challenge. So, it was a welcome change to have such a promising day forecast.

We got an early start on the day, and being a weekday, (Friday) I was the only plane staged at the end of the runway before the lift even started, with the Pawnee towplane and Dennis Linnikin our towpilot all ready to go.

Taking off as soon as the little wisps started to form in a clear blue sky, we were just a little early as it required 15 minutes of low level scratching just to stay aloft at release altitude. Finally, the lift "lit-off" and we climbed at 3 to 4 knots…. only to find the cu's bases climbing even more rapidly than we were. This gave a strange sense of losing altitude and sinking, not climbing…. even though we were! I had to keep checking the altimeter and vario averager to assure myself we were in lift and gaining altitude, despite the audio singing away with 3-4 knot notes. The cloudbase reached about 5k and we finally caught up to them and turned out across the start line.

On course to Taccoa were well-formed, highly predictable clouds that were continually getting higher and higher in an air mass with great visibility. The bases topped out around 6000 MSL and little circling was necessary to stay cruising straight ahead just under them.

After turning Toccoa, the path to our second turn point was semi-dictated by the presence of Lake Oconee to the East as well as a couple of leaf/brush fires throwing smoke, creating areas devoid of lift and clouds downwind of them. We wove our way to the second turn point and Thompson-McDuffie airport did its best to suck me down to it again for another outlanding, (as it had several months earlier on a previous attempt at this triangle). Not to be "had" again, J4 turned the sector and put the nose down to clear the sinking air. We got to an area of lift again at the low altitude point of the flight, about 2000 MSL, where the lift was now weak and the day getting late. Taking some time to thermal back up, it was obvious it would be necessary to stay up at cloudbase to have any hope of getting home. We ran between cloudstreets and slowed while turning upwind beneath them to stay in their (still strong) cloud-suck lift, now at 7000 MSL.

The rest of the flight home was a fun "sight-seeing" trip in an obviously "winter's-coming" kind of sky. Knowing it'd be our last flight of the season, J4 and I ended it with a high-speed pass and pull-up over the club hangar where a few members had congregated. All in all, a fun flight before putting J4 away to bed for the winter.

*8 Trace 73IC3VO1.IGC March 18 2007 -  Wayne Hoover UNOFFICIAL record, just a great story.

10,452ft. The bottom line, I got lucky. I finished the photo shoot and headed south searching for lift. I climbed to about 6000 ft. I then headed back up wind to Monroe. I had been blown quite a ways down wind. I encountered week lift. From the trace it looks like I tried thermalling in the lift a few times but kept getting blown out of it by the strong winds aloft. I then pointed the nose of the glider into the wind and slowed to about minimum sink and flew till I thought I had reached the other side of the lift. Then did a 180 and till I reached the other side of the lift then repeated the process. Initially the climb rate in the good part of the lift was about 3.5 knots. At 10,000 ft it had decreased to 0.2 knots with the Ipaq reading winds of 40 knots. I worked the last few hundred feet by circling until I was blown out of the lift then heading back up wind into the lift. I was an interesting day, looking down and seeing the gliders below and the haze layer trapped beneath an inversion layer. I apologies to Scott and the rest of the crew. In my excitement, when asked for bearing and distance to Monroe, I looked at the compass and radioed back 5 miles at 15 instead of 150. I also saw a glider below me and to the right and did not think of radioing and telling him the wave was 90 degrees to his left. I will do a better job next time. Flight log is attached. 73IC3VO1.IGC
Wayne Hoover - UNOFFICIAL record, just a great story.

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revised March 28, 2007